Ok so I've had moderate acne for the past 8 or so years (started at 13, now 21) and during that time I've become increasingly introverted and nervous around people. I've always avoided big social situations as much as possible but I did actually have some sort of social life (albeit quite a restricted one) until quite recently with the help of the wondrous invention of foundation.
However, in the past few months I've developed severe cystic acne which can no longer be successfully covered up by make-up and, with the exception of my graduation ceremony last week, I haven't actually left the house in about 2 months. My friends keep texting and calling asking me to go out and do things with people but I literally feel like a monster even with a tonne of foundation on because it just doesn't cover up these huge cysts any more. Obviously I'm on various treatments and trying everything I possibly can to improve my skin but it all works so slowly and in the meantime it's just painful, swollen and ugly every minute of the day and I'm too embarrassed to even contemplate showing my face to the outside world. What a sad and sorry existence indeed! It feels like it will never end and I'm so incredibly bored and miserable!!!
Does anyone else have this issue? How on earth are you supposed to get around it and have anything resembling a normal life? And does anyone know of anything that can make these massive deep cysts hurt any less and/or reduce their size?
Sorry for the long rant I just needed to vent to somebody who might actually understand why I feel like this. Any advice would be seriously appreciated!
I know exactly what you mean. I've always been quiet and have never been a social butterfly, but since I've had acne I've slowly gotten more and more reclusive. I've gone from a normal social life, to a very boring life with very few friends at all. This is all down to me isolating myself as a defense mechanism, which I think is quite a common behavior for acne suffers. I think it's a matter of just letting go and accepting the fact that, yes we have acne, but other people don't actually care and still want to spend time with us. It's really hard to do, but it's something I've been forcing myself to do lately. At least then I feel as though I'm making a positive step towards the life I really want, instead of just hiding away from people.
I've had similar things with my mum where she'll come home and say something to me like 'Today I saw a girl / guy who had bad skin too' - as if reassuring me that other people have issues with their skin but still manage to be confident and outgoing all the time. She probably doesn't realise but the first thing I get from hearing that is that people see my skin as being bad.
Sometimes it's worse when she comments on seeing a really pretty/attractive person and she'll go on about how nice their skin / hair / eyes / height whatever were. And then it makes me aware of how easily she can comment on another persons good looks but I can't recall her telling me I looked nice or anything like that... (I don't need her to say that sort of thing it's just that I'm suddenly aware of that when this sort of topic comes up).
I don't know... I tend to over think most things but hearing all that sort of thing just sets in my mind even more that appearance really does matter, as much as people try and say it doesn't. I guess when it comes to knowing a person and connecting with a person, appearance doesn't matter so much but I think everyone, without realising or meaning to, judges or forms an opinion of a person in the first few seconds of seeing them... so having 'bad skin' and not being 'pretty' must really impact on that...
But then again, confidence does change everything. If I could manage to be more confident (and it's slowly becoming a little easier as my skin starts to improve) I'm sure a lot of things could be better.
My dad is pretty good though when it comes to this sort of thing. I don't think he has any idea of how my skin has effected me but at the same time seems to know it's something I don't want attention brought to and so never comments on my skin unless I've been the one to bring it up.
And like syllacrostics said, I hope that I can leave these anxieties etc that I've developed behind me one day! I've heard that mothers in particular can cause/contribute to body image / self confidence issues in their children / daughters by being concerned with their own appearance or making comments about their own weight etc - and if I were to ever have children, I'd hate for them to go through the same or worse image issues I have, especially if I had 'caused' it to happen to them. I'd want my kids to be happy and confident and love themselves! But good thing I don't plan on kids any time soon - I would not be a good 'role model' for that sort of thing at this point
Your Mum sounds a lot like mine haha. She always means well (and I love her dearly) but sometimes I think she fails to realise how much my acne gets me down. She will often comment on how my skin is looking a bit worse, from the view point of a concerned mum, but she forgets this is just reminding me of the problem. It's not like I hadn't already noticed!! I've also noticed for a long time that whenever we go out somewhere as a family, she always tells my brother (who has perfect skin) that he is looking good but I never, ever get a compliment.
It does make you wonder what other people think about your appearance. I really don't consider myself to be attractive at all, so I know I always come across as very shy (especially around girls). But if I had more confidence, then even if people didn't find me physically attractive, there would be more of a chance they'd be attracted to me because of my personality. I know there will always be shallow people, but most probably couldn't care less that we have acne. Hopefully one day soon we will all have nice clear skin, and can go back to just simply being ourselves. One thing is for sure, when I have children (hopefully I can find someone willing to have them with me hahaha) I will do everything I can to ensure they have good self esteem and don't go through what many of us have. It's just not fun.
It did happened to me when i was probably like 15 or 16 years old. I would just sit on my bed and cry, cry and cry all day. Saying to myself how miserable my life is and that is so unfair that i can´t enjoy life like others. But that was in the past baby, now i still have acne, but i still don´t give a crap. Today i wore my best outfit, high heels, my wild curly hair and i went outside (i had to pick up my mom from my sister´s house) everybody where staring at me, guys and girls, but not staring at me because of my skin but because how confident i looked. Some girls gave me dirty looks of jealousy, other girls said things to me like ´´how pretty you are´´ (yes some of this girls where lesbians) and guys just couldn´t take their eyes out of me. But it´s not because i think i´m pretty or anything like that. Is because there are days that i just don´t care what others can say about my acne, if i feel pretty inside and out am not gonna let anyone put me down. And believe me, when you show confidence in yourself that´s all people are going to see. But if you go feeling all crap believe me you can be the target for bullies. It all depends on how you look at yourself in the mirror. Oh and i forgot to say that i went outside with no makeup, like no foundation just mascara and lipstick that´s it. And i can tell you that i never felt so beautiful before like i did today
I admire your attitude, and you made me laugh. I wish I could go out and be confident like that.